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LinkedIn head office

Posted February 23, 2019 by

1,000’s of colleges invested heavily to advocate for LinkedIn over the past decade. Did they do so wisely?

LinkedIn recently published a summary of the demographics of its users. The results were quite interesting.

I think that we can all agree that thousands of college career service offices and leaders have invested massively over the past decade in advocating and, in some cases, requiring their students to become members of LinkedIn. Quite frankly, I’m a fan and very active user of LinkedIn, as is the job search site company that I founded some 28 years ago. So I’m not writing this to denigrate LinkedIn nor the career service offices and leaders who have invested so much of their time, energy, and resources in promoting it to their students. What I’m wondering is whether all of that advocacy has been worthwhile and if, in hindsight, different decisions should have been made.

A few numbers that jumped out at me and which surely will provoke some thought and, hopefully, discussion amongst readers of this blog article:

  • 13 percent of young adults are members.
  • 44 percent of LinkedIn users are active on a monthly basis, from which I infer that about 5.7 percent of young adults use LinkedIn on a monthly basis.
  • 26.1 percent of LinkedIn users are in the U.S., from which I infer that about 1.5 percent of U.S., young adults use LinkedIn on a monthly basis.

There are approximately 20-million students who are currently enrolled in U.S. one-, two-, and four-year colleges and universities plus another 20-million recent graduates for a total of 40-million students and recent graduates. If 1.5 percent of them are active LinkedIn users, that’s about 600,000 users.

Now, I understand that some of my inferences may be off and I would be happy to be corrected as to the actual number of active users who are U.S. students and recent graduates, but if my numbers are correct, then they indicate to me that the tactics and strategies employed by thousands of colleges for years have not born the fruit they should have. So, I ask, should colleges continue to promote LinkedIn to their students — sometimes even to the point of requiring the students to register in order to graduate — and, if so, how should that promotion be different tomorrow than it was yesterday?

Posted April 04, 2018 by

Job search advice: What to audit on your social media, and how to use recruiters’ tactics on themselves

 

The recent movie everyone’s watching about Facebook data and Cambridge Analytica should make job seekers hyper aware of the information they post online. Political analysts might build psychological profiles, but what do you think recruiters do to find the right candidates?

Some entry-level job seekers are surprised when they discover that recruiters search online for information about them. Steven Rothberg, President and Founder of College Recruiter says he finds this interesting. Some candidates get uncomfortable “when they discover that potential employers have looked at social media, talked with people not listed as references, and more.” But think of it this way, says Rothberg: you likely “have no qualms about looking at social media, talking with people who aren’t recruiters or hiring managers about that potential employer.” (more…)

Posted November 15, 2017 by

Professional networking: A definitive guide for students and grads to succeed in the job search

 

We put together our most popular content about professional networking and developed a one-stop guide with everything you need to know about networking as a student or recent college grad. The guide includes tips about:

  1. Where to start and how much time to spend networking
  2. The best elevator pitch and a formula for a successful informational interview
  3. Professional networking tips for college seniors to find a job by graduation
  4. The number one networking tip for introverts
  5. Benefits of joining a professional association
  6. Networking mistakes
  7. How to engage authentically

(more…)

Posted September 20, 2017 by

Job openings are more open to some than others: A guide for entry level job seekers to combat bias

 

With limited professional experience, it’s hard to know how to act when an employer is considering you for a role at their organization. We believe strongly in fair hiring practices. While employers can find plenty of advice for reducing bias in their hiring practices, job seekers should also be prepared to fight bias. Here we provide six tips for entry level job seekers who are nervous that their chances at job openings might be lower, due to bias against their gender, race, ethnicity, ability or other dimension of their identity.

1. “They’ll see me for my skills, right?” Um, yes… But realize that bias exists.

(more…)

Posted August 26, 2016 by

Biggest networking mistake you can make

Asking photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

For many college students and recent graduates, networking is likely to be part of their job searches. Their success or failure when interacting with recruiters and hiring managers will depend on their approach. While securing internships or entry-level jobs is a priority, college students and recent grads don’t want to come off as too aggressive when asking about career opportunities. Job seekers should not assume that just because they are eager to work that employers will automatically tell them about job opportunities, including those in the hidden job market.

When networking, students and graduates can inform professionals about who they are and what interests they have. At the same time, they can ask questions to learn more about potential employers and what they have to offer. Marc Prosser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business, discusses a key mistake to avoid when networking and shares helpful tips for a better experience.

“The biggest networking mistake is asking people if they know of any open jobs. It’s good to be aggressive and show you’re looking for work. But why should anyone recommend you, especially if they don’t know you or your work ethic?

The best way to network is showing curiosity about what people do. Ask them and tell them you’d like to learn more about their profession; establish an interest in them. They may recommend you and say “This person is interested in…and may be good for the position.” Asking employers if they’re hiring won’t be as effective as “Hey, what do you do?” Avoid that mistake and you’ll be better at networking.”

Want to improve your networking skills? Visit our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Marc Prosser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business

Marc Prosser, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business

Marc Prosser is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Fit Small Business, a site that provides reviews and articles for small business owners. Prior to starting Fit Small Business, Marc was the CMO of FXCM for 10 years. He joined as FXCM’s first employee and grew the company to more than 700 employees.

Posted August 22, 2016 by

Recruiters’ failure to follow-up hurts networking

Emotional stress, frustration, telephone photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Attending networking events on college campuses is a great way for recruiters and hiring managers to interact with and build relationships with college students. By engaging in conversations with college students, recruiters and hiring managers can find potential candidates for entry-level jobs, internships, or other career opportunities. It is also important to keep in mind that networking is a two-way street. While it is important for students to follow-up with recruiters, recruiters should do the same.

One mistake some recruiters make is not following up during the hiring process. This can not only create a less impressive candidate experience but can also a company or organization’s reputation. Kevin Fallon, Director of Career Services at Salisbury University (Maryland), discusses the negative effect left on college students when recruiters do not follow up during the hiring process.

“The single biggest mistake we often see recruiters and hiring managers make during the hiring process is a lack of follow-up or follow-through. College students will come to us and say ‘I never heard back from (recruiter) at (name of company) – Should I follow up with them?’ This lack of following through on communicating with students is damaging to an organization’s brand, and it leaves them with an unfavorable view of the organization. It especially does when you consider the contact management software available today.”

For more advice on networking, check out our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Kevin Fallon, Director of Career Services at Salisbury University

Kevin Fallon, Director of Career Services at Salisbury University

Kevin Fallon serves as the Director of Career Services at Salisbury University (Maryland), where he leads the delivery of career and professional development services to more than 8,000 students enrolled in, as well as alumni from 42 undergraduate and 14 graduate programs in business, education, science and technology, and the liberal arts. Prior to joining Salisbury, Fallon’s 22-year career included talent acquisition and talent development leadership roles with global Fortune organizations such as PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Accenture, and Bank of America, as well as university career services leadership roles with the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland College Park and Rider University in Lawrenceville, New Jersey.

Posted August 19, 2016 by

Networking isn’t all about you

Business photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

How do you handle networking opportunities? Is it a one-way or a two-way street? The mistake you can easily make is that networking is all about you. Because you’re so focused on landing an internship or an entry-level job, no one else seems to matter. Having that perspective is a mistake.

Networking is about communicating with professionals or other job seekers and building relationships with them. If you’re not just talking but taking the time to listen to someone else, you can learn valuable information to benefit your career. Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, explains why networking isn’t all about you and offers good networking tips.

“We live in a culture obsessed with personal branding, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The problem occurs when the only thing professionals focus on is themselves. Don’t attend networking events to tell your story alone; focus on listening, as well. After all, networking should be a dialogue, not a monologue.

It all comes down to authenticity. Are you joining professional groups and meeting people to only serve your career and to be the loudest, most talkative person in the room? If so, you will get nowhere fast.

Show a genuine interest in meeting new people, sharing ideas, asking questions, and developing strong relationships. Nobody wants to associate with selfish, egotistical blowhards who try controlling every conversation.

Being authentic also requires gratitude. Many young professionals forget to thank whoever takes time to talk to them. Express how much you appreciate each person’s time and energy. This leaves them with a positive impression of you and solves another common networking mistake, which is failing to follow-up.

Most people assume their contacts will seek them out on their own. Don’t leave it to chance. Instead, be proactive, and connect online and schedule follow ups with a simple email or a request for a lunch meeting. Take charge, be humble, and maintain a level of professionalism.”

Find more networking advice on our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org

Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org

Michael Moradian is the Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, an honor society that recognizes academic achievement and provides valuable resources and tools to its members. Connect with Michael and HonorSociety.org on Twitter at @HonorSocietyorg.

Posted August 16, 2016 by

Absence of genuine networking discourages job seekers

Business photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

As recruiters and hiring managers search for top talent, it is important they understand how to approach potential job candidates. Employers should think about treating candidates the way they would want to be treated when searching for internships or entry-level jobs. Recruiters and hiring managers can’t assume just because they arrive on college campuses that they will make connections. Taking time to speak with college students who attend networking events shows sincere interest in them and create a favorable impression of an employer. Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, explains the importance of connecting with candidates in a genuine manner.

“Networking is a way to build professional relationships on a personal level. But many recruiters fail to connect with potential candidates in a meaningful way. Communication is the most important tool in a recruiter’s toolkit. If you can’t explain expectations and describe opportunities in a clear, straightforward way, candidates will go elsewhere. Job seekers aren’t interested in vague, unclear information. They want to know if an opportunity is right for them so help them see if they can fit into the role.

It’s easy to spot common offenders when you’re at networking events. Keep an eye out for card spammers, people who throw their business cards around attempting to reach as many people as possible in a short amount of time. This is not just unprofessional; it’s also offensive.

You can’t build relationships by skimming the surface and trying to get your information in as many pockets as possible. Why would I want to build a trusting relationship with you when you can’t seem to take the time to fully engage with me?

Instead, start a conversation and express a genuine interest in connecting. Being inauthentic and focusing only on the result is off-putting. Don’t force anything; sometimes, there just isn’t a fit. Express what you can offer and how you can help potential candidates.

Follow-up if you sense some interest, but don’t be pushy. There is a human side to business, and talented candidates appreciate when they are treated as a person, not a commodity.”

Want more networking tips? Make your way to our blog and follow us on LinkedIn, YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook.

Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org

Michael Moradian, Executive Director of HonorSociety.org

Michael Moradian is the Executive Director of HonorSociety.org, an honor society that recognizes academic achievement and provides valuable resources and tools to its members. Connect with Michael and HonorSociety.org on Twitter at @HonorSocietyorg.

Posted August 09, 2016 by

Common networking mistakes to avoid

Dishonesty, moral dilemma, liar photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

As college students and recent graduates enter the workforce, they will likely meet people who can assist them with their job searches. When these opportunities arise, job seekers be prepared to take advantage of them. While some job seekers may not be the most outgoing in terms of personality, they can still be effective when networking. However, if students and grads don’t understand how to network, they can hurt their chances of building important relationships that can advance their careers. So as job seekers attend networking events, they must be mindful of what not to do. Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University, highlights common networking mistakes to avoid.

“Blindly reaching out without knowing basic information about a person, the kind of details usually found through a quick Google or LinkedIn search, is a red flag signaling a bad start to the networking experience. A wishful connection will be less likely to engage if college students or prospective hires don’t bring any background knowledge to the table.

Expecting a networking connection will “tell me what to do.” Before reaching out, know the information you want. It’s helpful to have an informal script handy. “My name is Sue Smith; I’m a business major and art history minor interested in an entry-level job working in the cosmetic industry in New York. I’m hoping to secure a summer internship. Could you share with me how you got into the industry and any suggestions or recommendations you might have?”

Thinking the number of connections matters. Networking is about relationships, not numbers. Targeted outreach to people who share common interests makes networking effective. Two people may connect in an unlimited number of ways, such as graduating from the same school, being from the same hometown, choosing a similar academic path, or by an interest in a particular career. Whatever it is, a real connection matters.

The first outreach is inappropriate or unprofessional. Treat networking opportunities as professional conversations. It’s easier to move from formal to casual than vice-versa. Having good manners and dressing appropriately (which is very different if you’re interested in a career in journalism versus a career on Wall Street) is critical in creating the first impression that builds your reputation.”

Want to learn more about networking mistakes? Head to our blog and follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube.

Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University

Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University

With more than 25 years of experience in the private sector, nearly half assisting organizations with recruiting, interviewing, and hiring top talent, Mike Summers, Director of Employer Relations at Wake Forest University in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, has an insider’s understanding of what employers are seeking and helping students and recent grads showcase their academic skills and personal experiences. Wake Forest’s one, university-wide employer relations team means Summers has experience with and supports the employment search for students in all academic areas, teaching and empowering them to articulate the value of their education for today’s employers.

Posted July 30, 2016 by

Landing an internship at a major corporation

Should we stress out the importance of an internship? Probably not, no. You’re already here, which means that you’re probably aware of how significant experience as an intern is to your portfolio without us lecturing you about it, too. Everyone wants to obtain a master’s degree education level or to hire people with as much experience amassed as possible, and the best way to get this boulder off your chest is to make sure you play it safe and give them what they want.

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

Photo by StockUnlimited.com

That said, you want to land an internship, but so does pretty much everyone else. How are you supposed to handle competition and stand out from the hundreds of applications that the hottest corporations at the moment need to go through at once? Here are some tips to make your resume shine.

Take the initiative – Make one

Make what? An internship program, of course. Let’s say you really want to intern at Big International Corporation X, you have your resume all written out, you’re ready to send it in and… surprise! It turns out that there was never a program like that to begin with. How is that possible? It seemed like such a natural inclusion that it’s almost surprising they don’t offer internship positions in the respective field.

This is when you can go bold and prove your initiative prowess. Get in touch with the company – write them an e-mail, contact them on social media, and let them know that you have an idea for an internship program. Think it thoroughly before contacting them, though. This way you can offer detailed explanations and practical solutions, which are going to make you sound all the more capable, resourceful, and involved in the prosperity of the company.

Create an interactive video

Interactive resumes tend to be a surefire way to capture an employer’s attention. That’s because, even if all the applicants were to follow the same pattern and send in engaging applications, the only way that they can actually work is through personal charisma.

Record a video introducing yourself and add on the screen links that redirect to other videos where you solely focus on one specific asset you want to expand on (for example, leadership skills). If you’re a developer, develop a mini-game where the player navigates a world filled with chunks of text from your resume. There are many directions you can follow, and the most important thing you need to do is exploit your personal talents and ace up your sleeve. If you’re a painter, paint the application!

Build your resume out of Legos

Welcome to the world of specifics. Today, we talk about Legos. They can be much more than sources of entertainment and deadly traps for clueless barefooted trespassers. Leah Bowman was a student at Northwestern University who managed to impress the company she applied to for an internship by sending them a resume in the shape of a Lego model.

The crafting represented herself surrounded by the variety of skills she possessed, and it was paired with a cover letter which explained in further detail her assets and experience.

Use apps to your advantage

We know about LinkedIn, Twitter, or other forms of social media. Their usefulness resides in the name: social media. It seems obvious that platforms dedicated to human interaction could play a big role here. But what does an application via Snapchat or Vine sound like?

If you have the possibility of emailing the resume to your desired company, include a link to a Vine where you creatively lay down your skills in six seconds. If you’re able to pull that off, surely there’s got to be a level of creativity in you that’s bound to spark some interest. Moreover, this is a way to showcase another really charming and sought-after trait – humor. Tell a story through images by using Snapchat and its colorful features and captions option. Just try to steer away from Tinder as we have no clue how that could prove useful… for now.

The first step to landing an internship is to make your application stand out as well as possible. Small details, such as the title of the e-mail, the font, or the color of the page weigh a lot. If you want to take it a notch further and be sure that you nail that internship position, then just adopt one of the methods on this list.

Karl Magnusson

Karl Magnusson, guest writer

Want more tips to help you land an internship or job at a major corporation? Keep visiting our blog and be sure to register as a job seeker on CollegeRecruiter.com, too. Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube for regular job and internship updates.

Karl Magnusson is a motivational writer and a career coach, with over five years of experience under his belt. He loves helping people identify their hidden talents and thrives on seeing his clients achieve professional acclaim.